RoseAna Dodge and Stormy Love are the owners of Rocket A Go Go, the colorful rockabilly shop at the southwest corner of Mill and Southern avenues. They’ve been friends for almost 11 years, and opened the shop, originally called Rocket Resale, in 2011.
They’re not only business partners, but soon to be in-laws. Love has been seeing Dodge’s son for nine years, and they’re currently engaged. “She’s my best friend,” Love says. “I sometimes feel bad for my husband [to be].”
Dodge’s family had a jewelry-making business, and she used to make accessories for heavy-metal bands like Guns N' Roses, Whitesnake, LA Guns, Cinderella, Great White, Poison – even a bracelet for James Brown once. Love’s “G-ma” ran ceramics classes, and she was always the alternative type. These two became fast friends.
Dodge and Love have filled Rocket A Go Go with rockabilly and punk-styled resale clothing, upcycled vintage pieces, clothing lines like Hell Bunny, Sourpuss, and Iron Fist, and their own in-house line named simply Rocket A Go Go. Referred to around town as “those rocket girls,” Dodge and Love also take care of bridesmaids' dresses and jewelry for weddings, most of them rockabilly or horror-themed.
Neighboring Yucca Tap Room – a well-known Tempe bar and music venue – Rocket A Go Go can also attract some interesting customers, including Nekromantix, Unwritten Law, The Quakes, Agent Orange, and more.
New Times stopped by the Rocket girls' Tempe punk shop to sit down and talk with them about what they’re wearing.
How would you describe your sense of style?
Love: I am a big fan of psychobilly. I love classic rockabilly '50s cuts, but with a little bit of twist. My staff knows this as my Ss – every day I have to wear something that is skulls, spikes, studs, or sparkles.
Dodge: I’ve always loved Joan Jett, and I used to make jewelry for heavy-metal bands, so I always loved heavy rock and roll, but I also love rockabilly. So, kind of classic rockabilly.
What are you wearing right now?
SL: What I’m wearing right now is a Hell Bunny, and that’s a company we’re one of the official retailers for, so we carry this dress in the store.
RD: I’m actually wearing one of ours from our store line. So it’s just a classic cut, and we do a lot of polka dots, but we have solids and floral prints. Sometimes, nothing says retro like polka dots. Our store line, we’ve made them for Arizona as well, very comfortable. You can wear it to barbecues with sandals, or you can put heels with it and dress it up.
SL: Right now, you’re wearing it with some Chucks.
Where do you shop?
SL: It helps a lot that we shop here, so a lot of clothes we have here or vendors we carry ... we wear that stuff as well so we can help you figure out how to put [a look] together. We add over 100 items a day, so we actually have to cut back on what we take home.
RD: And we do have all different ago groups; it’s very fun. We’ve had teenagers with their grandmothers shop here, and they both have found something. We love to see that.
What are your favorite local boutiques?
SL: I think one of the main boutiques we shop at that’s local is Love Child Resale. We both have a lot of little ones in our life and they’re amazing, and they’re another family-run business.
What was the last piece you bought?
RD: My Wednesday Addams shirt.
SL: Last thing I took home was a sequin dress. I got a strapless, mini, skin-tight, gold sequin dress with mesh cleavage panels.
What's one of the weirdest things in your closet?
RD: We always have events, so I can’t tell you how many accessories and boas and top hats and fun stuff I have. But because I wear so much black I have a lot of accessories, so I have this really big cross-and-skulls necklace in sterling silver that I made. Sometimes I just put on a big, crazy piece of jewelry.
SL: Right now in my closet I have hanging a tight mini dress; the bottom is all cheetah, the top is all black mesh with black heart pasties over your nipples. I also have an embarrassing amount of superhero outfits – any time the store gives me a chance, I will be Batman. How many times a year am I Captain America? Like, it’s bad.
Who are your fashion inspirations?
RD: I really love Betsy Johnson, She tends to be edgy, but does feminine just right. And I know we talk Joan Jett and some of the biker stuff, but probably one of my biggest influences is Grease. I grew up watching the old musicals on TV so I love like Marilyn Monroe, West Side Story – I loved the '50s clothing. And I loved the Pink Ladies jacket. I know I’ve had a pink satin jacket.
SL: I really, really love early 2000s Gwen Stefani, just that craziness and glitter and mesh, just kind of pushing the envelope of makeup and hair. But I also love like Lita Ford ripped-up jeans, cowboy boots, and some turquoise.
What is your earliest memory of fashion?
RD: Probably since I was like 8, I wanted a biker leather jacket and tried to explain it to my parents, and they got me this Italian-cut square one, and I was like, “No!” My mother was getting me this fine, Italian, very expensive [jacket], but when you’re younger, and I was like 8 or 12, I didn’t know what you’d call it.
SL: I was mesmerized by one of my Barbies when I was a kid. She was a mermaid Barbie, and when you put her in hot water her hair turned pink, and when you put her in cold water her hair turned blue, and it blew my mind. And I was like, “I need colored hair.”
What is a trend that you wish would stop?
RD: The mom pants or shorts.
SL: They’re not high-waisted pants – we love high waisted – it’s the mid-90s mom ones. Some girls can pull it off, but if you don’t have a butt, all that did was make sure you still do not have one.
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RD: They actually need to get them altered, not just find a pair of Levi’s that has that look. And you really can only wear it if you’re like, 20. Sorry.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to people in Phoenix about fashion?
RD: Being in Phoenix, it gets so hot, and everyone is dressing so casual. Everyone always ends up wearing this worn-out tank top, and worn-out cutoffs, but everywhere.
RD: Class it up. Come on, Phoenix. We’re all for the nitty-gritty, and the punk rock, but there’s a time and a place.
What are five things that everyone should have in her closet?
RD: The classic black dress that is fitted to your body. Good pair of cowboy boots. Those can always be fun.
SL: I think everyone needs a statement ring. And I always tell people, a statement, middle-finger ring. I’m wearing one right now. I love a big, gaudy ring on your middle finger.
RD: Classic, mid-size crystal or diamond earrings, because they’ll just go with everything. And you can dress up any outfit with just that touch of earring.
SL: This one’s open to your own interpretation: I think everyone needs that go-to conference outfit, something that says, “I’m cute, but you don’t want to cross me.” I think everyone needs his or her power outfit.